So here I am going to demonstrate/illustrate the full process of creating a WordPress website. Since I am also pretty new to WordPress, but here are what I have concluded, it is going to be simple and easy to understand, a complete layman guide. And it is going to set you up well, just like this site.
This is the first part Concepts Part of the guide, if you want to skip it right to the procedure, please click here.
Before we start, we need to understand a few basic concepts of websites.
- Domain name
- The storage place of server
- Control panel
Let’s start from the storage.
1. The storage place of server
So whenever you surf the Internet, there are tons of websites you see everyday. Have you ever wonder how a website works? I mean, the working time.
A website never stops, never rests, it works 24/7 until it’s breakdown, hacked or manually stopped.
Thus, for things like this, you need a remote console/machine to run it 24/7 non stop so that the website can be accessed in any given time. But of course you can run it on your own computer, it’s totally fine but think about the expense. So these consoles or machines are what we call servers.
And if it’s a console/machine, then it needs an OS to run on it so that you can operate. And mostly, a server’s OS is a Linux system. And Linux itself has many distributions/derivatives – Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora etc. There are too many distributions of Linux system. (Why? Because it’s an open-source system) And of course there is Windows, can also be deployed as a server OS.
There are many server types, and here is where host comes in.
Since we have talked server, a host is just a company, or a provider, to power/give electricity to your server to let it run 24/7. And this is whom you pay basically monthly for a website. Their job is basically maintenance of thousands or even thousands of thousands servers in their storage buildings.
And host companies normally provide multiple options of server type.
- Shared hosting. The most common one for hosting a website, and the cheapest one of starting a wordpress blog. If you go to wordpress.com, every free blog you start there is a shared hosting. WordPress provides you with a free blog in exchange of a fixed domain name, limited customization of the site. But it’s pretty cheap, if you want no expense, a lot of shared hosting sites can provide free service.
Some would charge you, but not much. The downside of this server type is limit customization and the blog ownership is not yours.
Any free to start blog can be considered a shared hosting. Blogger, Tumblr etc. are stripdown shared hosting with the least features of a shared hosting. Wix, Weebly are also shared hosting but they offer some better customization with the charged price.
- VPS. VPS full name Virtual Private Server. This, how should I put it. A VPS is a remote console, like I said before, it provides you full control of the console, meaning the ownership of the website is yours. You can do whatever you want with the website as long as you don’t violate your VPS hosts’ regulations. It’s not as cheap as shared hosting, but it’s also not very expensive. And since now you can simply find good hosting companies that offer you $5 a month i.e. Vultr VPS
Technically speaking, a VPS is where a remote machine/console that divides its disk into several sectors, with each sector installed an OS on it, a VPS is one of which. It’s like you install two systems on your PC, one Windows, one OS X.
- Dedicated server. Before I said VPS is console cut into multiple parts, then a dedicated server is a console, a full console with nothing cut. It’s like a remote computer. The advantages of this type of server is that its efficiency is very high, always rigged with high-end specs, can deal with massive data flows. And of course comes with the expensive price, but even though it’s expensive, it also accompanies the high security of your hosting company and priority maintenance. It’s expensive, but if you want to start a big brand website, this is definitely the choice to handle massive data.
3. Domain name
So another not that important but necessary component of a website is, a domain name.
What is a domain name? Every website, follows the pattern –
www.wordpress.org. Ignore the
www, a domain name is everything behind.
Choosing a domain name is like naming your kids, the kid is your website. To say it’s really important, not really, since you can run your website without a domain name. But it’s necessary to have it to be official.
Go to some domain name registrar, for example, GoDaddy. And some hosting companies even provide you with the domain name registration, so you can simply pick from them.
Domain name is mostly annually billed, you buy a full year ownership of a domain name. And just a headsup, domain name is basically a line of garbage with no real value in it. There are people who live off trading domain names and contend for some domain names just to sell it high price. Those are for the suckers. Your website is nothing and your domain name is nothing before you add value into it.
The fee from registrar is basically registration fee, default nameservers operating fee, customer service and others.
4. Control panel
What is a control panel? A control panel is a user-friendly interface that controls your server from a web page. It’s important to have since you are starting a WordPress site. Control panels control a lot of things, such as your database, php and Apache. These are the key elements of a WordPress powered site.
For how to install each one is different. cPanel is mostly provided by hosting companies; Webmin/Virtualmin has script to install; ISPCONFIG and VestaCP can also be installed by script, simple to use, or you can manually command line on your server.
Now since I have explained fundamental concepts of a website, now I will introduce WordPress itself.
WordPress is actually a CMS, Content Management System. And just like WordPress, there are many other CMSs out there. Drupal, Joomla, etc.
There’s been said there are 30% of the Internet websites are powered by WordPress. Anyway.
A CMS put it in a simple is also a user-friendly interface for you to write content on it. A post, a gallery, a video, save your massive amount of time typing codes on console.
WordPress is a open source software, which means it’s free. And modifiable.
WordPress is a software/system writes exclusively on php, if you dig into its software directory, you will find most of the files are .php form.
Three fundamental elements that consist of a functional WordPress: MySQL(database), Apache, PHP.
These are the things that you will encounter later on the post.
This is the first part of the guide, click here to the second part – Procedure.